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Date of Issue

August 19, 1996




Postal Administration


Perforation or Dimension

12.5 x 12


Ashton-Potter Canada Limited.


Designed by Derek Sarty.

About Stamp

Originally a medieval system of personal recognition, heraldry is still a vibrant tradition throughout the world today. In August, Canada plays host to the 22nd International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences. The Congress (Ottawa, August 18 to 23) has never been held outside of Europe since its founding in 1929, and Canada is proud to mark the event with a domestic rate (45¢) commemorative stamp celebrating Canada'own heraldic tradition. At the time of the crusades, knights decorated their shields and their arms with personal symbols to identify or 'herald' themselves, their families and their followers. By the 16th century, arms were granted only by permission of a sovereign. As colonists, Canadians were required to apply for new arms - first from the sovereign of France, later from that of England. As Canada grew into nationhood, it developed its own heraldic symbols such as the maple leaf and the beaver, and applied them in military heraldry, flags and uniforms. Finally, in 1988, Queen Elizabeth transferred her authority to grant arms to Canada's Governor General. Our new heraldic stamp was designed by Derek Sarty, partner in the firm of Gaynor/Sarty in Halifax. Sarty's first stamp for Canada Post depicts the distinctly Canadian images of a schooner, the fleur-de-lys, aboriginal art and maple leaf against backgrounds of mountains, wheat fields, forests and oceans. Without words, these symbols speak of a nation shaped by aboriginal cultures, immigrant traditions, natural wonders and technological innovations. "Heraldry exists so we can say: 'Here's who we are, here's where we've been, and there's where we are going'" says Sarty. This Canadian stamps celebrates all three.
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Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1996, p. 14-15.

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